1963 Dual-Ghia L6.4 Coupe

If the Chrysler-powered Facel-Vega is a French Imperial, consider the L6.4
a Mopar Maserati

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The brainchild of Eugene Casaroll, the Italian-American hybrid known as the Dual-Ghia was largely based on the Ghia-designed Chrysler Firearrow, a concept car for which he acquired the production rights. Luxurious and extravagant, it had the longest production line in the world-from Detroit to Milan and back-as it utilized an American drivetrain and Italian coachwork.

Sales were modest, however, and in 1960, a redesigned coupe version appeared in Paris, spearheaded by the American Ghia agent Paul Farago, with little input from Casaroll. It had every imaginable amenity, including fitted luggage and luxurious styling, and the public response to the largely hand-built L6.4 was encouraging.

The car continued to use a Chrysler V8 engine-a 383-ci unit-but the construction was almost entirely conducted in Italy, making this version more of an import than before. Fewer off-the-shelf parts were used, and with high-quality materials, the price skyrocketed to an astronomical $13,500. Just 26 examples were produced between 1960 and 1963, many of which were acquired by such celebrities as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Dean Martin.

This gorgeous Dual-Ghia L6.4 Coupe spent most of its life in South Africa. As supported by a complete binder of documentation, history, and literature, it received a comprehensive body-off restoration some years back.

Since acquiring the L6.4 Coupe, the seller had it repainted and the interior leatherwork repaired, the quality of which is superb. The maroon metallic finish is immaculate and is tastefully complemented by flawless chrome wire wheels shod in Vogue dual gold stripe tires. The engine bay is clean and tidy, showing no obvious signs of dirt, grime, or grease.

A fabulously running and driving example, this ultra-rare Dual-Ghia is a wonderful collector car and a fantastic Italian-American hybrid whose character is as rooted in Turin as it is Las Vegas.

B. Mitchell Carlson

SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Brian wrote his first auction report for Old Cars Weekly in 1990 and has contributed his colorful commentary in Sports Car Market since 1998. His work appears regularly in Kelley Blue Book, and also in a handful of marque-specific publications. Carlson shuns what he calls “single-marque tunnel vision” and takes great pride in his “vehicular diversity.” He attends about two dozen auctions per year, but he broke away to roar around Oregon with Paul Hardiman in SCM’s Dodge Viper and Porsche 911 Turbo in the 2015 Northwest Passage.

Posted in American